Did the PlayStation Vita footage of Phantasy Star Online 2 look a bit rough to you? There's good reason for that!
In a blog post at the Phantasy Star official blog, producer Satoshi Sakai, who announced the game in Sony's PlayStation Vita Game Heaven video earlier today, said that the Vita version is only 10% complete. The footage shown in the video was just the development staff trying to put the game on Vita. It lacks Shaders, and has the PC's lowest "level 1" drawing specification. It's also unoptimized, with framerate issues.
Sakai assured that as they continue development and add Shaders and so-forth, the Vita version will approach the PC version's highest drawing level.
While the Vita version is clearly early, the decision to release the game on something other than the PC is not. Sakai said that the staff was thinking about releasing the game in some form on a home platform ("home platform" means consoles or portables) from the moment they decided to make PSO2 on PC. The reasoning behind this is that PSO was itself originally a home console title (PSO on Dreamcast). Also, the PSP Phantasy Star Portable games were popular.
As detailed in the video, the Vita and PC versions will share the same servers. Also, your character can be played on both systems. For this reason, the Vita version will be an online exclusive game, and its play data will be saved on the servers. Sakai noted that this is a great difference from past Phantasy Star Portable games, but remarked that you could say it's something they're able to try out because of the Vita.
The Vita version of Phantasy Star Online 2 will be released in 2013. Sakai assured that the PC version's 2012 release will not be delayed by the Vita version's development. The staff is first putting their full effort on getting the PC version ready to go and will then finalize the Vita version. A separate team is currently working on the Vita version in parallel with the PC version.
You might remember that Sakai had promised surprise news for March. Sakai confirmed that the Vita version of PSO2 was that surprise news. But there are more March surprises too, he teased.